With my husband I raised three children, who are now grown. Two of our kids came to us through adoption and foster care in the early 1980s from South Korea, a one-year old, and an older child who arrived at age 10. We waded into uncharted territory, as not only were two of our children Korean (I'm mixedblood American Indian and my husband is white) but by adding an oldest child, we also changed the birth order within our family. Next, our son, then age 7, was diagnosed with a brain tumor—an event that changed all of our lives and taught me to let go of expectations and to forge a new identity.
When I began assembling a collection of my previously published essays to include here, I found that each one begged for revision. A number of my feature articles were too magazine-y in tone and needed to be reshaped into memoir. Other pieces, when further examined with my poet’s eye, had become too pretentious and gave off the full-bodied notion that as a mother I had things all figured out, which of course I don’t.
I also contemplated my gloomy stories. Although my memoir, Pushing up the Sky, published in 2006, is often remembered for difficulties I've faced, I want it to go down in history that there has also been great joy within my journey through motherhood.
Today as a mother and grandmother my life in no way resembles what I had hoped for, or expected it to be, and yet I am deeply thankful for where this journey has led me. I also enjoy seeing how my perspective has evolved and changed over the past four decades.
Thank you to the editors where these essays were first published.
Terra Trevor is a contributor to 15 books, the author of two memoirs, and numerous essays and articles. Her new memoir, We Who Walk the Seven Ways, is forthcoming from University of Nebraska Press in 2023. Her memoir, Pushing up the Sky, published by KAAN Books in 2006, is widely anthologized. Trevor's work and portrait are featured in Tending the Fire: Native Voices and Portraits (University of New Mexico Press). Her work is also included in Children of the Dragonfly: Native American Voices on Child Custody and Education (The University of Arizona Press), The People Who Stayed: Southeastern Indian Writing After Removal (University of Oklahoma Press), Unpapered: Writers Consider Native American Identity and Cultural Belonging (forthcoming from University of Nebraska Press), Voices Confronting Pediatric Brain Tumors (Johns Hopkins University Press), In the Veins: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects, The Foster Parenting Tool Box (EMK Press), Take A Stand Art Against Hate, and in numerous other books, anthologies, magazines and literary journals.
© 2009-2022 Terra Trevor. All rights reserved. Terra Trevor
- In Writing Motherhood
- Southwest Moonlight and Making Babies
- Adding The Oldest
- Considering a Transracial Adoption?
- Journey of a Thousand of Miles: Transracial Adoption
- Back in those days, in South Korea
- Two Standards: ICWA (Indian Child Welfare Act)
- Race and Identity: Actions Speak Louder Than Words
- Full Circle: Journal Writing Circles With Kids and...
- American Indians in Children's Literature
- Children of the Powwow: Changing The Way We See Na...
- My Years at the Shelter
- Bring Me Hope: Foster Parenting Through Tough Times
- A Mother Reflects on Joy, Loss and Gain
- Three Sections from MY LIFE
- Thoughts On Motherhood, In Black, White and Techni...
- Giving My Children Custody of their Own Lives
- Project December: This is what I want to claim as ...
- To Say Mother
- A Motherhood Life Lesson
- When a Child Dies: Living With Loss, Healing With ...
- Pushing up the Sky: A Memoir by Terra Trevor
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